How to Write a Cover Letter

How to Write a Cover Letter

After hours scouring the internet, you finally find it. The perfect job is staring back at you, and you're not sure what you can do to help your chances of getting offered the position. While there are many things you can do to improve your chances of a job offer, there's one simple step that most people overlook. Writing the perfect cover letter improves your chances of getting an interview and getting a job offer.

Know What a Cover Letter Is

Before you can start putting your fingers on the keyboard, you need to understand what a cover letter is. It's often the first impression a hiring manager gets of an applicant. If you write the wrong things, an employer may not even look at your resume. But write the correct things, and an employer might push your resume to the top of the pile.

Fortunately, a cover letter is nothing like a college paper or an English essay. Even if you don't like writing, you can handle writing a cover letter. It's a short description of who you are and why you're right for the position.

The first paragraph of the letter should grab attention. To accomplish this, list off a few of your top achievements. The second paragraph should tell the reader why you're the ideal person for the job. Finally, your last paragraph should explain why you are the right fit for the company.

Steps for Writing a Cover Letter

With these steps, you can create a cover letter that puts you a step ahead of the competition:

1. Pick a Template

You can use a template to create your cover letter. Although you might prefer to be original, save your creative nature to other parts of the job application process. Look online for templates and luck one that's visually appealing.

2. Include a Header

The top of your cover letter should have a header. In the header, include your full name, phone number, and email address. It's also appropriate to include the date and name of the hiring manager. If you have a professional website or social media account, you can include it here.

3. Greet Them

When most people write cover letters, they start with "Dear Sir or Madam." Although this is professional, the greeting is boring. Show some passion and put thought into your greeting. Either look up the name of the hiring manager or start off your letter with, "Dear Hiring Manager".

4. Grab Attention

Hiring managers go through pages of cover letters, and you need to do what you can to make yours stand out. To do this, start your letter off with a paragraph that demands attention. Think of your biggest achievement, and mention it in the first or second sentence. Even if the manager doesn't read the whole letter, they'll remember who you are.

5. Show Why You're Right for the Job

Instead of using your cover letter as an opportunity to detail all of your life's accomplishments, use it to show why you're perfect for the position. Think about what skills the hiring manager might want an employee to have, and give examples of how you have and use those skills.

Before you take on this step, read the job description with care. What are the main responsibilities for this role? Consider how your skills fit in with those responsibilities and use your cover letter to highlight them.

6. Tell Them Why You're a Good Fit

In addition to showing the hiring manager why you're the right person for the job, you also should show them why you're the right person for their company. First, you have to learn about the company. What are their values? What do you know about their company culture? Think about how you would fit in with them.

The hiring process takes time and money. For that reason, hiring managers look for new hires that are likely to stick around. They want new hires to remain with the company for years, which means they need to hire someone who fits in with the company culture.

To show them you're the right choice, Pick your favorite facts about the company. You might like their products or their attention to detail. Then, explain how you can contribute to those specific details. Avoid using generic language and give specific examples of what you have to offer.

7. Write Your Call to Action

The last paragraph of your letter should sum up everything you wrote about. If there's anything you want to elaborate on, do so in your conclusion. It's also crucial to thank the hiring manager for taking their time to read the letter.

In your final sentence, incorporate a call to action. You can keep this generic, or be very specific. Saying something as simple as, "Feel free to contact me with any questions "would suffice.

8. Use a Formal Closing

After your concluding paragraph, you should use a formal closing. "Sincerely", "best regards", and "thank you" are all good options.

9. Proofread Your Work

Before you send off your letter, take the time to proofread it. While it's a good idea to use a grammar editing tool, that alone isn't enough. There's no substitute for human eyes.

Read through your cover letter and check it for spelling and grammar errors. Additionally, check the tone of your letter. You don't want to come across as too needy, too confident, or too demanding.

If you have anyone willing to help you, ask them to look over your cover letter. They may have some advice for you.

10. Send the Letter to the Right Email

Although this may seem obvious, it's worth mentioning. Enter the email address with care, or you'll lose out on an incredible opportunity. If possible, copy and paste the email address from the job listing.

Finally, record the date, job listing, and contact email address for the position. If you don't hear back from anyone in about a week, you'll need the contact details to send a follow-up email.

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